I'm Nick, The “Brooks” in Brooks and Davis Photography
So...it’s time to get really personal. Who am I? Why should you care? And, what really sets me apart from any other photographer out there? That’s what this post should cover, right?
Well, have you tried talking about yourself recently? It’s really hard; especially as a guy in this industry!
You’d think this would be easy for me, I did go to school for multimedia journalism after all. But, the truth is...I've always found other stories more intriguing.
Instead of just rambling about my favorite things, I want to try something different. I'm going to take the journalistic approach and tell you my life through three short stories.
The first, is the story of the man and the woman who risked everything for a better life for their son...it’s my parents’ story.
It’s my beginning, and spoiler alert: It’s not the typical fairy tale where boy meets girl, they “fall in love, get married and live happily ever after.”—No. This is real life. It's far more complicated; and, because of that, I find it far more beautiful.
She was strong willed, and he was a know it all. They were fundamental opposites, but, somehow they balanced each other out. They were a team. In 2003, they packed their bags, left Jamaica, and permanently migrated to Florida where they worked their butts' off to establish a strong foundation for the future.
Once here in the US, they didn't quite see eye to eye; but, they loved each other, and to this day, they have love for one another.
Even though they didn’t "make it" as a couple..I have fond memories of me clenching to their feet as they slow danced to Luther Vandross in the middle of the living room floor. I remember having delicious family picnics on Sunday afternoons, and then...of course I would trick my dad into carrying me upstairs--you know, because I was too lazy to walk. I remember our incredible family vacation to New York City. We not only saw all the major monuments, but we rode in a limousine (in the middle of time square) blasting "Empire State of Mind." I especially remember the sparkle in my mom's eyes as we collectively laughed at my dad's (not so funny) jokes.
My parents' relationship taught me that love isn’t black and white. It's not some finite concept that has a beginning and an end; it’s an evergreen. My parents taught me that love is dynamic, forever changing, & always evolving. ￼
Second, is the story of individuals who became my chosen family.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my family, and I wouldn’t trade them for the world (i’m incredibly close to them)..but being an only child, I always felt lonely. Sure, I had my cousins that I looked forward to being around; however, there was an unexplainable void that I didn’t quite notice until recently.
Through a combination of my academic and professional career, I’ve made some incredible friends that not even distance or time can affect. To be honest, referring to them as “friends” just seems...almost insulting! After all, I’m not talking about regular people here. I’m talking about people who truly make you look at the world differently because of their intellect, their heart, and their infectious personalities.
People who drive miles from their homes’ just to help with a flat tire, people you can always count on to be there exactly when you need them. People who don’t care about the societal minutiae of race, social class, gender or sexuality.
They’re teachers who still believe in enriching lives, they’re nurses who not only save lives, but encourage me to travel the world with them. They’re intellectuals that challenge my way of thinking; and they’re creatives that inspire and support me.
They truly make me want to be the best version of myself that I can be. I cherish these individuals, my chosen family, because it’s through them that I learned that love can be plural.
Third, is the story of those I work with: the couples, the families, and the little ones I get the incredible opportunity to grow with.
See, while I’ve been doing photography for as long as I can remember, it wasn’t until 2014 that I truly entered the “professional” world. I was lucky enough to be introduced to a high volume atmosphere, where I worked with a variety of sessions on a daily basis.
As cliche as it sounds, the professional world changed my life. I found myself capturing women who were told they'd never be able to have children, children who were adopted by an incredibly loving family, and families who've permanently left a mark on my heart.
Photography allowed me to experience and capture moments that would, otherwise, be forgotten. When I have my camera in my hands, I'm given the ability to freeze time and preserve those candid expressions that... no matter how hard you try... you'll never be able to replicate!
Simply put, my craft gives me a purpose.
It's been a while since I entered the professional realm...the little photogenic boy I truly connected with four years ago, is growing up; he's now a 6 year old with a mind of his own...but he'll always be "little ol' cake butt" to me. The "Papito" I forced into a father's day photo is no longer with us, but he'll forever be remembered. I take pride in that. I know that as long as I have my camera and my hand, I have a way to honor and protect the memories that become so precious to me.
Thats great and all...but what does this say about me?
I like to believe that I am the sum of my three stories; they create and frame the picture of who I am today.
Okay, so I know it took a bit to get to the point, but I am who I am because of my experiences. Like my parents, I’m unassumingly strong. Like my chosen family, I’m multidimensional. And like my craft, I'm artistically sentimental.
Honestly, I still can’t tell you why you should care. But if you're actually still reading this ...then lets chat! I hate talking about myself. I like sitting down and getting to know the person in front of me. I’d rather you tell me all about who you are, and where you grew up because I’m the type of person who wants to hear your views and pick your brain. If I’m lucky enough, I’d like to photograph and tell your story because at the end of the day, i'm a storyteller.